Shelf unit with basket drawers

My brother and I custom built this unit. I couldn’t find the right piece of furniture that had small drawers and deep drawers. I found these Branäs baskets at Ikea, but Ikea doesn’t make a unit like this to hold them. So, I drew up the plans to build this shelf unit.

How to make a basket drawer unit


  • 8 Ikea Branäs baskets
  • 24 shelf pins
  • finish nails
  • wood filler
  • small tacks (or staple gun)
  • 3/4-inch-thick pieces of wood (inches):
    top: 28-1/4 x 15
    sides (2): 40 x 14
    small shelves (6): 13 x 14
    middle: 36-3/4 x 14
    bottom shelf: 26-3/4 x 14
    kick plates (2): 2-1/2 x 26-3/4
  • 1/8-inch-thick piece of wood:
    back: 28 x 37-1/2


  • drill and drill bit
  • saw
  • ruler or tape measure
  • pencil
  • hammer or nail gun
  • sand paper or electric sander


1. Cut all the pieces of wood to the right sizes.


2. Before assembling, drill holes for the shelf pins: The top three drawer openings are 7 inches tall. Measure 7-3/4 inches down on the inside of each side/middle piece (to accommodate the thickness of the shelf) and mark it. Drill two holes just below the 7-3/4 mark and insert shelf pins into the holes. These will hold each of the shelves. Repeat twice on each side/middle piece (for a total of three small shelves on each side).

3. Assemble the outside frame (top, sides, bottom shelf). We used a nail gun, which sped up the process.

4. Measure and mark the center position and insert the middle piece. Attach with nails.

5. Nail the front kick plate into place, about 3/4 inches back from the side pieces. Then nail the back kick plate into place along the back of the unit. (The back piece isn’t really a kick plate. It’s there merely for support.)


6. Insert the small shelves.


7. They should be a snug fit. Sand the sides of the shelves down if the fit is too tight.


8. Using small tacks or a staple gun, attach the back piece. It should sit about 1/8-inch inside the edge of the unit.


9. Finally, fill all the nail holes with wood filler, then sand smooth when it dries. I was going to paint it, but decided to leave it as-is because the wood matched the baskets so well. I plan to protect the wood with Briwax— my dad highly recommends it.